Jonathan Lampel posts a look at getting you started using Pixar’s RenderMan within Blender. With the recent version release of the Pixar renderer, along side Blender’s PRMan-for-Blender addon, you can now use RenderMan right within Blender.
One of the most notable new features for version 20 include a game-changing noise reduction technology that accelerate render times from 2x to 10x.
Version 19 saw the addition of RIS rendering, an optimized mode for rendering global illumination. RIS was build specifically for ray tracing scenes that have heavy geometry, such as hair, volumes, and irradiance, and efficiently rendering it in a single pass. This is in addition to the renderer’s REYES mode, which was the only mode in previous versions.
There is also a free non-commercial version of Pixar’s physically plausible renderer available. You can download and use it for non-commercial purposes. This includes evaluations, education, research, and personal projects. The non-commercial version of RenderMan is fully functional without watermark or limitation. For further details check out Pixar’s Non-Commercial RenderMan FAQ.